When a gift falls out of the blue into your lap, don’t get greedy. When someone offers you something you aren’t entitled to at all, you don’t demand even more. It’s bad form and you might wind up losing even what you were never entitled to in the first place.
Here’s the exercise. Let’s say you’re sitting in the aisle seat of an airplane. The guy in the middle seat says to the guy in the window seat, “I’ll give you $100, but only if the person sitting in the aisle seat agrees with you about how to split the money.” Then, the guy in the window seat says to you, “I’ll give you $10 of the $100.” You may have an instinctual response to say, “Hell, no! We split it, 50-50.” But the rational thing to do is to agree. If you and the window seat guy can’t work it out, neither of you get anything.
Amazingly, it turns out that litigation is not always the optimal answer to monetary disputes. Shh. Don’t tell my clients.